The human body is a cruel temptress. Even though you are meant to be able to read your own body like a book, sometimes signs and symptoms are just too hard to read, or even find in the first place.
1. Lumps and bumps
Lumps and bumps in an intimate area can be truly terrifying. But just as the name implies they come in all different shapes and sizes and it can be intimidating trying to figure out which ones are bad lumps and which are the good lumps. How do you tell? Well all spot like symptoms can represent a different thing. If your lump looks wart like and feels rough and grainy to the touch, go to a doctor as that could be a strain of genital warts, however if it’s soft to touch and looks almost like a pimple, you likely just have an in-grown hair from shaving. However if your lump does not go away for more than a week, it’s best to get it checked out as it could be something more serious.
This one might seem pretty obvious but there is such a thing as healthy discharge, and it can be hard to tell which is which. Discharge can be harmless and completely natural however it also comes in less pleasant forms and can mean something more serious. The best thing to keep an eye out for is the colour, green, yellow or thick white discharge means you need to be checked. Abnormal discharge could mean a myriad of different things, including inflammation, a yeast infection or a sexually transmitted disease.
3. Burning sensation
This sounds rather unpleasant and it can be. If you find yourself starting to dread having to pass urine because every time you do it feels as though there’s a fire ‘down there’, then go get yourself checked out. Do not think it will pass, because even if it turns out to be nothing, at least you’ve checked. A burning sensation in both men and women could indicate that you have a urinary tract infection, a bladder infection, or an STI.
Feeling bloated happens to a lot of people, making them full, uncomfortable and most embarrassingly, gassy. Whilst bloating can sometimes just be a result of eating too fast or too much, it can also be a symptom of something far more serious. The more serious conditions which can be spotted due to bloating include multiple cancers, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and many more. If you’re worried, ask for an expert’s opinion on how normal your bloat really is.
5. Irregular bleeding
Again, this one might come as a no brainer, but a lot of people tend to think it’s a one off occurrence and shrug unusual bleeding off as nothing to worry about. Bleeding can sometimes occur naturally and is particularly likely to occur after sex if you’ve been a bit rough but persistent irregularity in bleeding in both men and women can be serious. It can mean infection, inflammation and in very rare cases, cancer.
6. Pain during sex
It is not normal to experience pain during sex so if this is becoming a frequent thing for you and sex isn’t pleasurable anymore, visit your doctor for a diagnosis soon. It could be a number of things including infection and cysts.
7. Rashes and excessive itching
Rashes are irritating at the best of times; they’re itchy, unsightly and just plain annoying. It’s hard to always determine if these red, tingling patches are harmless or something more sinister than simple eczema or heat rash. If the rash appears around your genital area, be safe and secure a professional opinion. You might think it’s harmless but it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
8. Funky smells
If you’re washing your genital area properly and regularly, you shouldn’t be emitting any unpleasant smells. Obviously smells do occur, so don’t panic if you have a musky scent, this is usually either because you’ve been exercising or due to hot, sweltering weather. However if you notice a really strong fishy or cheesy smell, then this could be a sign of thrush or another bacterial infection.
9. Irregular bowel movements
Bowel movement activity is different for each person. Before you start thinking about whether or not you might have a problem, you need to figure out what is normal for you. If you see a change in the amount of bowel movements you have or their consistency, this is when seek out medical advice.
10. Problems Ejaculating
Erectile dysfunction (ED) comes in many forms and many are unaware of this. If you’re having trouble ejaculating, lack an interest in sex or have delayed or completely absent ejaculation, then you might need to take a trip to the doctors as it could be erectile dysfunction that is causing the problem. ED is easily treated however through a variety of methods including counselling, lifestyle change and medication.
By Michael Ross, spokesperson for www.MedExpress.co.uk